April Book Club Selection

AJ Fikry Cropped

On a flight to Dallas I fell in love–with a book. I read THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, by Gabrielle Zevin, in one giant gulp and found myself laughing, crying, and then laughing again, all uncontrollably, in the baggage claim area of DFW while I waited for the my ride. The novel was so sweet and so charming that I was immediately swept off my feet. And then it managed to do the impossible and be deep and profound as well. I’ve been telling people about it ever since.

THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY is the story of a widowed book seller who finds new love and new life when a stranger leaves a surprise package in his struggling bookstore one afternoon. But the novel is more than that. It’s a love song to books and those who sell them. It’s filled with the joy and wonder and laughter that stories bring to our lives. It’s a winsome look at one man’s life and the power of the written word, the hope found in community, and the simple grace of loving another human.  To me this was the book that completely restored the joy of reading.

We’re giving away five copies of THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY thanks to Algonquin Books. See the entry form below for details.

The official summary:

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryIn the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books–and booksellers–that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds.  

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island–from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

A.J. Fikry himself would be delighted if you supported your local independent bookseller and purchased your copy from a brick and mortar establishment. Signed copies are available at Book Passage. They would happy to ship your copy. Also, we will be speaking with Gabrielle Zevin about THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY tonight at 7:00 EST in a live phone-in conversation. There’s no cost to join and we would love for you to be there!

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* * * gabrielle_zevin

Gabrielle Zevin has published six adult and young adult novels, including Elsewhere, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, which has been translated in over twenty languages. She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart), for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Los Angeles. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is her eighth novel and was published this month by Algonquin in the US and by Little, Brown in the UK (as The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry). It will also be published in 18 other languages.


About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

130 Responses to April Book Club Selection

  1. Gwyn April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I just heard about this book!!! I am so anxious to read it! Thanks for the offer!

  2. Janet R April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Just reading the official summary, I’m SO excited about this book – I must read it!

  3. Paige Carroll April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds wonderful….I would love to win a copy!

  4. techeditor April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I wasn’t interested in this book until now. Thanks.

  5. marge michulsky April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a wonderful book to read after such a long winter. thanks for the opportunity.

  6. Billie Brinkley April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I wonder if I could win all 5!?!?!? This sounds delightful…

  7. Cammi H April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great read for Spring!!

  8. Stacie Gorkow @SincerelyStacie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    From everything I seen and read, I must read this book!

  9. Victoria Thurman April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I was intrigued by the subject line of the latest She Reads email and was so excited to read about this book. I really would love to read the book now.

  10. Paula Dolin April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to read this book! Thanks for a chance to win.

  11. Karen April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Love the setting; sounds like a great read!

  12. Deby Coley April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks so much for the offer! This looks like a great read:)
    Deby

  13. Rhonda April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Perfect read for bookclub.

  14. JJT April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds Great. Thank you for the giveaway.

  15. Melissa Crytzer Fry April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Ariel – it was your review on Goodreads that first got me interested in this book. So many others in your SheReads network are chiming in with equally glowing reviews. Here’s to hoping I win! ;-)

  16. Judie McDonald April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve been reading so much about this book, anxious to read the book itself.

  17. Marsha Toy Engstrom April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Ariel: So excited about this book–can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the post!

  18. michell h April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    can’t wait to give it a read!

  19. Mary Beth April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds great – always looking for something about mature people. Would love to win!

  20. Sandy Cash April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to read this book

  21. Suzy E. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a perfect book for the beach in a couple of weeks! Thanks for the opportunity!

  22. Michelle April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great book – I could use a mental get away :-)

  23. Sharon Long April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds great. I love that you read in so quickly. Sure hope I win.

  24. MonaG April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a great read. Sometimes I’m in the mood for an emotional, heart-wrenching read. Also, I enjoy reading books about books.

    Thanks :)

  25. Renee Lepley April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to read this book.

  26. Linda I April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Your picks never fail to disappoint. I will be reading this one.

  27. Alisa April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    A book about a booklover. Of course I want to read it!!

  28. Marla J. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Would LOVE to win a copy!

  29. Melinda April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a great book! Would love to win a copy!!!

  30. Holly Johnson April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great book!

  31. kacie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I always enjoy your suggested reads!

  32. TM April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This books sounds wonderful. I would love to read it!

  33. Angie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    As a homeschooling mom, I spend a lot of time reading for school. I’m looking forward to the summer when I can read something just for pleasure. This looks like a great one!

  34. Deb April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    ALWAYS looking for good reads—not too many out there these days!!

  35. Tracy D. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great book. Adding it to my “to read” list.

  36. Joyce Elling April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a great read! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  37. Cathy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I would love a good book to read! Thanks

  38. Nancy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Can’t wait to read it!

  39. Brooke April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Another book suggestion that I might not have picked without…thank you shereads!!! ~Brooke

  40. Stacie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I would like to win this book! :)

  41. Heather April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This sounds like a great book! Cannot wait to read it!

  42. Beth Ann April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I have purchased numerous copies of Elsewhere for my students over the years – it always seems to disappear from my shelves. I’d love to read this book and share it with my students as well!

  43. Anna April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Golldangit you gals! If you keep informing me of awesome books, how the heck am I supposed to make a dent in my to-read list?! *sigh* :)

  44. Lana April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Algonguin Press always chooses the best authors. Can’t wait to read this one!

  45. kim smith April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds awesome, would love to win a copy!

  46. Jenn April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds interesting! I’m going to forward to my mom.

  47. randi April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I would to win this, but even if I don’t it’s going on my to read list!

  48. Carolyn S April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book – looking forward to reading it!

  49. Wendy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This book is a “must-read.” Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  50. Carolyn Spencer April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Looks like a winner!

  51. janet gregory April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    i would love to read this book, sounds like something i would enjoy

  52. Meg April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    enjoyed Divergent and have also recently enjoyed other offerings from the same publisher…looking forward to this one as well!

  53. Paulette O April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a good choice for the neighborhood book club.

  54. Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom) April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    How exciting, I love hearing about new books! Thank you for offering this give-away ;)

  55. Stacy Poole April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great read – I am always up for a story about second chances and reinventing oneself. Is it midlife crisis time?

  56. Arlene Grimm April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a book I would love to read!!

  57. Gloria Schilling April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds very intriqueing–would love to have it.

  58. Carl April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    What a fantastic selection. This is sure to be one of the biggest books of the year. Thanks!

  59. Cindy G April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like my kind of book!! I love books about books. Thanks for the opportunity to win a free book.

  60. Sara April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I too, like AJ, am excited by a second chance, sounds like a great read!

  61. Cynthia H. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This seems like a good book. It’s definitely going on my “to read” list.

  62. Joy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like such a fun book to escape in. Thanks!

  63. Amy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    sounds like a great read… I’m anxious to have a look

  64. michelle t. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    It would be wonderful to read such an intriguing book. When an author has the ability to make you laugh and cry all in one book then it has to be amazing. Thanks.

  65. Lisamarie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I saw this book on A Novel Review and fell in love with the story then! Would love to win!

  66. Lisa Noble April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love to read this book!

  67. Barbara Cole April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Can’t wait to read this book. Would be great to win a free copy. Thanks for the chance.

  68. Annette N April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    If this is as it appears to be – I hope to read the book very quickly. I would love to read this book

  69. Bonnie K. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I love books with the setting taking place in a bookstore or library. This has a little mystery, too, which makes it sound like a fun book.

  70. Nise' April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Looking forward to this book. It is getting great reviews.

  71. Susan Sarabasha April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Looking forward to ready this novel. Would be even better if I got a free one. Lately I’ve been wanting to hold an actual book IN my hands rather than reading it digitally.
    Gonna look for it at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, NY.

  72. Brenda Austin April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book! Would love to win a copy!

  73. tnichols April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I can’t wait to get started on this book. I love all your suggestions! I just finished THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS! Very good!

  74. Eve April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Looking forward to another excellent she reads book

  75. Anne Rightler April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    The book sounds like such a great read!! Here’s hoping to be a winner of one of the copies being given away. Thanks so much for sharing and for sparking my interest

  76. Melissa Foil April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  77. Lynn Winston April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love to read this book!

  78. Jessica McCann (@JMcCannWriter) April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  79. Donna McCoy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love a new book to read – sounds great!

  80. Paulette April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    You had me at bookstore. I would love to win and read the book. It would have been perfect last year when I was reading through the alphabet and needed a Z author!
    Thank you.

  81. Beth April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Perfect summertime book at the beach! Thanks for the opportunity to win

  82. Michelle W April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book! Would love to win a copy!

  83. Paula Caurro April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I have read lots of buzz about this book. You all have never steered me wrong yet. :)

  84. Carol R April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I am a teacher and love reading books. Would really like to win!

  85. Gayle Gardner Lin April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    My daughter says I have enough books. I need this one on my shelf. She doesn’t bug me as long as they’re free.

  86. Krista April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I just saw this book this morning in an email about the 10 best books out this month. I thought it look like a good read. I love books about books, bookstores, writers, etc.

  87. Mary April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great read! I have read and loved both The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I would like to win this book!! :)

  88. Christy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great book and look forward to reading it!

  89. Alice April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great book!

  90. Lina April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I keep seeing this book popping up all over the place. Now that you have recommended it I will have to put it on my reading list.

    Thanks!
    Lina

  91. Debbie D April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This sounds like a great book!

  92. Connie R. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds intriguing. I’d love to read it.

  93. Kathy April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This books sounds absolutely spell binding and a good way to get inspiration. The book sounds like a “Ebenezer Scrooge figure transformed into a new person with good intentions and goodwill to all. I need that kind of inspiration to charge up my writing and attitude.

  94. KOri April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I always enjoy your book choices. Looking forward to this one!!

  95. Leica April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book. Would Love to read it!!

  96. Kandra April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I can’t wait to read this! Thanks for the recommendation and the giveaway.

  97. Krista April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful read, can’t wait to get the book!

  98. karenk April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

  99. Jill April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great book! I hope to read it soon.

  100. Marie April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I always have a soft spot for books about books.

  101. Georgia Herod April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    After finishing Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch (and writing a review of it), I’ve shared quotations and excerpts that relate to reading and why we read, why we share books, how we talk about books–and so much more. I am so excited about The Storied Life of A.J. Kikry by Gabrielle Zevin–and can hardly wait to read it! It’s going to the top of my “to read” list.

  102. Mahaleigh April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This book was just recently put on my radar. I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet, but I look forward to going through this adventure as soon as I can.

  103. Susan G. April 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow, what an excerpt! Can’t wait to read this book!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win it!
    So many books, so little time…
    Thanks She Reads for letting us know about all the latest greatest books!

  104. Davida Chazan April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This is one of the first books I’ve gotten as an ARC via NetGalley, that I would love to have a real “dead tree” copy of!

  105. Rhonda G April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great read!

  106. Donna April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    A book about a bookseller draws me in for sure! I am interested in reading about this stories life.

  107. Sandy Stecklerr April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    It is an excellent book. I now want my own copy so I can read it again. Thanks for the giveaway!

  108. Galinda Barefoot April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  109. anne April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    This book is captivating and special. Thanks for this wonderful feature.

  110. Antoinette T April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I love books about bookstores and booksellers- Would love to win this book. Regardless I plan to read this book ASAP!

  111. Maryann Schwinge April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to win this book!!!!!

  112. Cathie Martin April 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I really want to read this

  113. Tanya April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I want to read it :D

  114. Beth April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    It sounds like this should be my book club’s next read! Thanks for the offer!

  115. Pat April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Book sounds great! Can’t wait to read it!

  116. Joanna April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This sounds like a great read, especially if it’s worthy of “one gulp” reading! :)

  117. Barbara Ann April 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This looks like a great book and I’ve added it to my reading list! Thank you for the giveaway :)

  118. Tammy Wallace April 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    This sounds like the perfect book for my book club! I was stressing over what my read choice will be, and this is it!

  119. Anne Rightler April 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great read. Here’s hoping to be a winner. Thx for sharing

  120. Laura April 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I always enjoy the books you recommend!

  121. Mary April 16, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Can’t wait to read this!

  122. Jennifer Huelsebusch April 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve heard great things about this book!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin | KerryAnnMorgan.com - April 7, 2014

    […] Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is the She Reads April book club selection. Head over to SheReads.org for a chance to WIN one of FIVE copies of this wonderful […]

  2. She Reads April Selection: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin | Traveling With T - April 7, 2014

    […] to win a copy? Check out Goodreads, She Reads, or join in the Twitter chat with Gabrielle on 4/15 at 8pmEST […]

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    […] To read what my fellow She Reads bloggers are saying about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, check out this post on the She Reads […]

  5. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry- She Reads April Selection | Turn the Page Reviews - April 28, 2014

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  6. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin | Traveling With T - April 29, 2014

    […] to know what other bloggers are saying about this book? Check out the She Reads Blog Network and read all the chatter about the April Book Club […]

  7. Z is for Gabrielle Zevin Zeroes Zafon Zahn « Stacy's Books - April 30, 2014

    […] received this book from She Reads.  Go on over and see what other bloggers think about this one.  HURRY and you can enter to win a […]

  8. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry | Doing Dewey - April 30, 2014

    […] Storied Life of A. J. FikryAuthor: Gabrielle ZevinSource: from publisher for She Reads Book ClubRating: ★★★★★Summary: I am on a roll with wonderful books that make me cry. This book […]

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